AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR

“If I traded it all, If I gave it all away for one thing.”
Finger Eleven, “One Thing”

There are certain instances that can change a game: one goal, one mistake, one breakdown, one injury, one lucky bounce, or one great coaching move. 90 minutes pass by, but the game comes down to minutes, seconds, and just one play. The final four is set for the World Cup, nearly as predicted, but it could have gone any other way.

July 4th, 2014

Germany 1 France 0: Nothing says American Independence like watching a game between two countries that the United States was very involved with historically. Didn’t France give us that one statue? Didn’t Germany force us to get involved in some world altercation? Who knows, but the game was once again questionable concerning how these teams have earned their positioning in the tournament. Hummels put the Germans ahead early and for good via a beautiful header off a Kroos set piece in the 13th minute. France had their chances, but the game proved that either the Germans are just doing enough to get by or are bottling in a plethora of goals waiting to be unleashed in front of the South American fans when they play their South American team. Again, who knows, but one thing is for sure, France is heading home to complain about the rest of the world and look at art; or whatever they do on café patios.

Germany telegraph co uk
Photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk

Brazil 2 Colombia 1: The host team won, but lost this game. Silva struck early in the first half because of laziness guarding the back post by the Colombians, and then Luiz had one of the most beautiful free kicks you will see: a knuckleball into the upper-v to make it 2-0. The Colombians added a penalty late scored by Rodriguez, but the game was dominated by the Brazilians throughout. However, with hard work comes sacrifice in the form of a broken vertebra to one of the world’s youngest and best players. Neymar’s injury is devastating, and so is Silva’s second yellow card preventing him from competing in the semi-finals. Remember, Muller couldn’t play against Spain in Germany’s semifinal during last World Cup, and that changed the whole dynamic of the game. If the Brazilians lose, they already have their excuse ready; if the Germans lose, they really have no excuse. As for the Colombians, they get to take their excuses across the border back home to a pack of wild hippos. Yes, you read that correctly. One of the deceased drug cartel leader Escobar’s famed actions was creating a zoo on his property. The hippos mated and now there are 16 roaming Colombia. Who would of thought?

Neymar telegraph co uk
Photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk

July 5th, 2014

Argentina 1 Belgium 0: No one should be surprised by the score, everyone should be surprised that the goal happened early and not late. It was an evenly played match, but Higuain’s 8th minute strike proved to be the game winner. Was it lack of offense or good defense? Both for Argentina, but they are about to play a very offensive minded team in the Netherlands (spoiler alert for next summary) and can’t afford to try and outscore them. The Argentines and Germans are playing very similar. Not scoring a lot, but not letting many goals in. Could the championship be between two countries that were once overrun by Naz….oh, we should cut that sentence off right there. The fighting chocolate waffles (Red Devils, whatever) played well throughout the whole tournament and Belgian soccer has much to look forward to. There’s a lot more to the small nation than meets the eyes, that is if anyone was really paying attention to them anyway. The status of Belgium is never really a topic of conversation outside of an IHOP or candy store, maybe a brewery.

Argentina v Belgium
Photo courtesy of theguardian.com

Netherlands 0 Costa Rica 0 (Netherlands 4-3 PK’s): In maybe one of the most fantastic and risky coaching moves in World Cup history, the Dutch switched their goalkeepers solely for the penalty kick shootout. Krul came in and saved two penalties, and even guessed correctly on the three that somehow got by the mad genius. They must be putting something in the weed up there in Holland; maybe it does make people smarter? Just kidding, that’s not even funny; it’s stupid. On the losing end, Costa Rica almost did it again. Their miracle run was cut short, but they gave the world a Cinderella and hope for a new country to enter the ring of glory. Sadly, the usual suspects make up the final four once again. Hopefully some of the Costa Rican players get huge international contracts because a nice payday may get them out of Central America. They deserve it; not necessarily the contracts, but to leave. So were all set: the Waxes vs. the Beers and the Evitas vs. the Clogs. South America vs. Europe I guess could work too.

Netherlands v Costa Rica: Quarter Final - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Photo courtesy of sportal.com.au

Semifinal Slate:
Brazil vs. Germany: TUESDAY 4pm EST
Netherlands vs. Argentina: WEDNESDAY 4pm EST

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